Some attendees at the “Justice for D6” rally criticized Republican lawmakers for not speaking at Saturday’s event. Rally organizer former Trump campaign member Matt Braynard said members of Congress would speak at the event.
The “Justice for J6” rally has shown its support for those arrested and charged in connection with the January 6 riots on the Capitol.
“It’s going to be huge… We’re going to push back against the false narrative that there has been an insurgency,” Braynard said in a July 30 interview with right-wing outlet Real America’s Voice. “We’re going to have some very high level speakers there. We’re going to be talking about members of Congress.”
No congressional lawmakers spoke at Saturday’s rally. Three Republican House candidates – Joe Kent from Washington state, Mike Collins from Georgia and Jeff Zink from Arizona – spoke at the event, Spectrum News reported. None of them are elected.
“There have been members of Congress who have stepped forward and helped lead this fight, and we are very grateful to them,” Braynard told the publication. “But there is a problem. There are too many who haven’t done anything.”
Rally attendees expressed anger at the lack of Tory lawmakers at the event.
A protester in the rally crowd shouted, “Where is [Republican House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy? Where is [Republican Senate Minority Leader] McConnell? They are all useless “, The Washington Times reported.
Steve Merkel, a protester from Baltimore, Maryland, told the Times, “They are cowards because they do not stand up for these constitutional rights. They are supposed to be protected. I call them political animals who are afraid of bad media coverage.”
Casey Crawford, a J6 protester from Missouri, told the Times, “It’s really heartbreaking that none of them came.”
“You see videos of MP Greene going into the jail cell and standing outside, saying she wanted to come in and make sure everything was okay,” Crawford continued. “They put on these shows that they care… but don’t take the position that you want to defend people and then hide in an office.”
About 400 to 450 protesters attended Saturday’s J6 rally, Capitol police said.
Cara Castronuova, co-host of the rally, blamed lawmakers and the media for the low turnout. She said both groups scared off potential attendees by emphasizing the potential violence at the event.
The rally was held in support of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6. The crowd sought to overturn the 2020 election results based on Trump’s baseless allegations of voter fraud. Around 140 police officers were injured during the uprising. Federal authorities have arrested more than 600 people for their alleged participation in the event.
Neither McConnell nor McCarthy made any public comments supporting or disavowing the “Justice for J6” rally in the weeks leading up to the event.
Immediately after the January 6 riots, McConnell called the rioters “thugs” and “mobs.” At the time, McCarthy blamed Trump for the riots and said Congress should investigate what motivated the “mob rioters.”
Saturday’s rally put Republican lawmakers in an awkward position, Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said The hill. The Republican base believes the United States is being stolen from them and the GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill aren’t doing enough to help, O’Connell said.
However, GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill would rather focus voters’ attention on the failures of current Democratic President Joe Biden rather than the events of January 6, he added.
News week contacted the Republican National Committee for comment.